My Organic Obsession

organic yumminess from Tampa Bay Organics!

organic yumminess from Tampa Bay Organics!

This post has absolutely nothing to do with art…except that I am going to paint this beautiful picture of colorful, fresh, organic goodies that arrived at my house today! And I’m not a huge fan of still lifes either.

Lately, I have been obsessed with feeding my family organic food. I have always been a fresh produce only, vegetable lovin’ kind of gal, which I think started with a garden my parents had when I was little and we were living in rural North Carolina. We had fresh tomatoes, green beans and zucchini all the time, and my parents would let my brother and I grow our choice of flowers around the border. He loved marigolds, and I loved sunflowers. I loved that garden.

And then along came Hazel, whose food I decided to make after re-educating myself on all of the toxins involved in processing our food. Everyone knows that there are pesticides, hormones and antibiotics in our food, but until recently I never quite realized how rampant it is…and what health issues are linked to the consumption of all the badness. It’s crazy!

So much to my family’s dismay, Mommy has become the “organic nazi”.

But I am CHEAP. And organic food is expensive. My first trip to Whole Foods a couple of years ago was a nightmare. I spent a ton of money, and all of my food went bad within a day or two. And the produce selection, which is the most important to me, was terrible. Okay, so I decided this was not the way to get my organic food.

Then I saw a post on Facebook from one of my good friends about a company called Tampa Bay Organics. They are a sort of co-op that sources out local, organic fruits and vegetables and other specialty items…and they deliver to your door, bonus! The prices looked reasonable, so I decided to try it. I started out getting their small box (which they say feeds one) every week, but then I backed it down to every other week because we weren’t eating it all quickly enough. (Update: we are consuming LOTS more fruits and veggies, so I increased our deliveries to a large box every week). My hubby‘s taste in fruits and veggies is very limited. If he had his choice he might never eat a vegetable again. Lucky for his health, it isn’t his choice! I do the grocery shopping and the cooking, and that means mi familia eats what I choose 🙂

My other choice would be to go to one of the weekend markets at the local organic farm to pick up my food. But I don’t always get a chance to do this if we have a busy weekend. And this place rocks!

What’s in this box? 1 bunch of carrots with tops, 1 bunch of broccoli (I added a second because we love broccoli, even hubby), 1 huge Tommy Atkins mango, 3 Roma tomatoes, 2 black plums, 1 huge cucumber, 2 Hass avocados (the baby and I can put a hurtin’ on some avocado), 4 bananas, 2 Minneola tangelos and 1 pound of strawberries, which was a generous substitution for a blueberry delivery that fell through. It is so fresh! I had no idea how much better organic food tasted than the pesticide covered stuff. I also added a pound of organic coffee and a pound of wildflower honey, which I use as sweetener (not for the coffee). Oh, and you can substitute if you don’t like something in your box. I was supposed to get some kale and green lettuce, but I already had some greens so substituted something else instead. They have a new nifty little phone app for that to make it super easy, and they give you two days to think about it.

I buy all of our other organic products…yogurt, cottage cheese, milk, butter, half and half for my coffee…also no sugar added fruit juice, cereal, eggs and chicken…at the Greenwise section of our Publix. They never have a great selection of organic meat, so I plan my dinners around what is available when I’m there. A new Greenwise Publix is opening soon near us. Can’t wait!

I just informed my 10 year old that I won’t be buying boxed mac and cheese anymore. She was sad, until I promised her that I would bake a tray of homemade mac and cheese every Sunday so that she could eat on it all week. She is happy again. (Update: We discovered Amy’s organic boxed mac and cheese at Publix!)

So until we have our own family garden, and we will someday soon I hope, this is my plan. Remember those old containers I robbed from my recycle bin that I mentioned in my studio tour? Those are going to be my new deck container herb garden! Hey, it’s a start.

Pictures coming soon… 🙂

3 thoughts on “My Organic Obsession

  1. Margaret Eldridge

    I found yet another great resource for fresh, local organic foods. It is for the St. Petersburg community, but some of your readers may benefit. It’s called St. Pete Grown Locally, and you can get local eggs, butter, milk, cheese, veggies, plants, coffee, sprouts, and so on. If you are in their delivery area, they deliver. If not, they give you a pickup spot (mine is the CVS on Pinellas Bayway). Check it out. Also, if you want to have a little of the farm experience, you can go check out this urban hydroponic farm in the middle of St. Petersburg, where you can pick your own produce. It’s called First Fruit Hydroponics We should get Creative Loafing to do a story on these local resources!

  2. Pingback: Farm Animals, Tween Decor & Our Organic Journey | The Artwork of Lisa Karen Ward

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